Yesterday’s blog kicked off my week long feature on moving. I told you a little bit about what you should do as soon as you find out that you’re moving. Today I’m going to dig deeper into the process and go over the planning and logistics of your big moving day! This is the part of the whole process that makes me the most nervous. That’s okay though because through years of trial and error, I’ve learned a lot and am ready to share with you some of the things I’ve learned! The most important things to remember when planning are to stay organized and keep your end goal in mind.
First thing I do when I begin planning my move is get a binder with plenty of notebook paper, a calendar page, page protectors, and a fully stocked pencil pouch. Now I know, I sound like I’m a 7th grade Math student or something getting ready for the first day of school, but trust me—having a good binder will help keep your organized. I then title several sheets of paper with the following titles: Moving company, Day-Of To-Dos, Inventory List, Phone tree, and Expense sheet. Yes, I’m sure some of you would prefer to do this on your laptops and that’s fine! I prefer a hard copy in a binder so I can keep all receipts and things together, but electronic spread sheets and documents with these titles work well, too.
On these sheets, I make notes about the moving company like quotes, who I’ve spoken with on the phone, arrival times, and any confirmation numbers. On my Day-of To-Do List, I remind myself to set up a cooler with drinks, double check all cabinets, sweep the floors and vacuum, drop the dogs off at a friend’s house, and any other things I don’t want to forget. I encourage everybody to make an inventory list of their own even if their movers give them one. On my inventory list, I record the number of boxes I have, how many pieces of furniture I’m moving, take pictures of big ticket items, and record the serial numbers and conditions of each major piece of technology. Having the serial numbers is important for insurance purposes. I trust all of my movers, but things get misplaced and an inventory list just helps to make sure EVERYTHING gets from point A to point B.
The Phone Tree is photocopied and given to every single person on the move and includes the names and phone numbers of everybody. Yes, I am over the top, but it comes in handy! Trust me.
My Expense Sheet is more of my husband’s idea. It is a good one though. This helps us see how much money we are spending throughout the trip. It has a column for estimate and one for final cost. We also record travel costs and any unexpected expenses along the way.
After you get yourself organized, it is time to decide whether you are going to move everything yourself or have a moving company do it. On the same note, are you going to pack everything yourself or have professionals do it? Those choices are up to you. I’ve done both ways and have serious pros and cons for both. Remember that when using a moving company, a lot of times they have a list of items that they will not pack and/or move. Things like open food containers, cleaners, flammable goods, and candles are on many “will not ship” lists so keep that in mind.
If you decide to go with professionals, do you homework. Ask friends and family for recommendations and hit the net to look for reviews. When it comes to hiring people, I prefer to check references and go with companies with good reputations. Quality is something that I weigh heavily against price (and everybody knows I panic when I spend money so that’s saying something). After deciding, start making a “Day-Of” plan including when people are arriving to help you move.
In all of this, I’m assuming you’re moving straight into your next place. With that said, make sure you set up your utilities. You need to arrange to have your utilities turned off at your old place AFTER you are finished moving out completely. If you are renting, PLEASE CHECK your lease agreements. Some rentals have stipulations on when utilities can be turned off. Make sure you set up your utilities at your new place to be turned on BEFORE you start moving in. And don’t forget to look into television and internet hookups. I learned that it is harder that it sounds sometimes. I moved into a “technological black hole” and it took nearly a month to get service. It’s hard to FIND service when you don’t HAVE service to use to search with (did that make sense?). Long story short, research and set stuff up before you move in.
Yes, I may go overboard a teeny bit or perhaps you feel like I’ve left something out of my planning guide. If so, please comment or email me! There is so much more to a move, but getting yourself organized and setting up a plan is so important. It isn’t the most fun part of a move, but it will help alleviate some of the potential headaches that might occur. The more you plan, the better off you will be when the big moving day arrives. Tomorrow I’m going to dive into packing and labeling (I’m a labeling queen).